Tag Archives: daleks

100th Post: Reflecting on Nearly 3 Years

It’s really surprising to see that I started this blog nearly three years ago. And to find that this is my 100th post. Have I really had that many interesting things to say?! Excuse the self-indulgence here, then, as I look back at what’s changed since my very first blog post on 30th April 2010. (In no particular order…)

1. I’m now a freelance writer.
2. I’ve interviewed Matt Smith. (I know; I haven’t said anything about this massive event on this blog yet. But stay tuned!)

Matt and Moffat

3. I launched the Make Mine A Marvel Omnibus site in October 2010.
4. I had my first article printed in Real Travel magazine.
5. I work for the Doctor Who site, Kasterborous.
6. Amy and Rory left the TARDIS last year. (Don’t press me on the matter; I’m still a bit teary.)
7. I have an FdA in Professional Writing. (You can read more about that course here.)
8. Spooks has finished. (Thank God for DVDs!)
9. I’ve started my first novel.
10. I’ve written for the Weston College Higher Education Prospectus.
11. I did the web copy for Lovarzi’s Fourth Doctor Scarf for both their own website and Amazon.


12. As well as doing the official press release!
13. I’ve started my first children’s book.
14. The Amazing Spider-Man reached #700.
15. I’ve worked for Kasterborous’ sister site, CultBritannia (and you can read my first article here.)
16. I’ve learnt how to add videos to my blog!
17. I wrote The British Comedy Guide’s 10th anniversary celebratory article of The Office.
18. I’ve started a few scripts…
19. … And am searching for an agent.

Armstrong and Miller Guide2Bristol review

Armstrong and Miller Guide2Bristol review

20. I reviewed the Armstrong and Miller Tour for Bristol247
21. … And for Guide2Bristol.
22. The latter of which has been quoted on the official A&M website!
23. I copy-edit regularly for Kasterborous.
24. I reviewed the Day of the Daleks: Special Edition DVD for Kasterborous in two parts (here and here).
25. Then reviewed it for ItchyBristol here.
26. I’ve ran two blog advents across December 2011 and 2012.
27. I’ve worked on four Doctor Who ReKapped articles (learn more about that here), with another one in the works.

A Town Called Mercy 3

28. Clara Oswin Oswald has joined the TARDIS (sort of).
29. Neil Armstrong has passed away.
30. And so has Sir Patrick Moore.
31. The Killers have released a new album, Battle Born (and you can read a review of their single, Runaways here).
32. Avengers Assemble! has been released.
33. My review of the Doctor Who graphic novel, The Dalek Project went online here.
34. I’ve contributed two features to the upcoming Kasterborous Magazine (stay tuned for that).
35. Ray Bradbury has died.

The Illustrated Man

36. I’ve joined Twitter!
37. I’ve reviewed the last episode of Sherlock, The Reichenbach Fall, for Cult Britannia.
38. I have worked in a shop, Giggs, during the Christmas 2011 period – a shop which has since gone bust! (Nothing to do with me, I might add.)
39. I’ve read countless books – and you can see my top 10 reads of 2012 here.
40. Two episodes of 1960s Doctor Who have been found!
41. I reviewed Mission to the Unknown for Kasterborous’ Doctor Who@50.
42. The Gunfighters too! (And that’s certainly not the last of my involvement in the project.)
43. I created the Introducing: Doctor Who series for Kasterborous.

The Gunfighters 4

44. Doctor Who Confidential has been axed. (And was voted the best show ever on BBC3. Typical.)
45. I previewed Forbidden Planet’s Doctor Who Fun Day for ItchyBristol.
46. And in a short piece for The Mercury.
47. And finally for Bristol 247.
48. … For whom I also reviewed it.
49. The price of a 1st class stamp has increased to 60p.
50. I reviewed Lovarzi’s Fourth Doctor Scarf.
51. I write a regular column, Bristol Comics Corner, for Guide2Bristol.
52. Death in Paradise debuted on BBCOne.
53. Tuition fees increased, with a cap at £9,000.
54. … Something which I argued against in this Bristol247 article.
55. Brandon Flowers released his first solo album, Flamingo, and I reviewed it here.
56. I was thanked for my article about Jack Vettriano’s Bristol exhibition.

Vettriano on the Bristol247 homepage

Vettriano on the Bristol247 homepage

57. I previewed the Slapstick Festival in 2011.
58. I created my own website, using Moonfruit…
59. Then deleted it, as I wasn’t happy with the inability to update.
60. The Dandy ceased publication. (Read my article on that here.)
61. I’ve submitted an article to the Doctor Who book, Celebrate, Regenerate.
62. The Doctor Who Experience opened in London –
63. – Then moved to Cardiff.

JLC dress and Dalek

64. I reviewed Mack the Life, Lee Mack’s autobiography, for The British Comedy Guide.
65. I interviewed comic writer and artist, Jerry Holliday.
66. The Ice Warriors have been confirmed to return in the second half of Doctor Who, Series 7.
67. The world didn’t end on 21st December 2012. (Always a good thing, I find.)
68. The Bristol Comic Expo returned to Brunel’s Old Station.
69. I previewed the 2012 Expo here.
70. And reviewed it here.
71. The James Bond film franchise hit the big 5-0.
72. My former tutor, Marc Leverton, who’s a freelance writer, has written a guest blog post about his experience of publishers.

How To - Journalism

73. A review of his book, How to work as a Freelance Journalist, can be read here.
74. Steven Moffat has left Twitter. (Again, nothing to do with me!)
75. I’ve seen Steven Moffat at the Doctor Who Experience!
76. Sherlock burst onto television in July 2010.
77. I’ve helped Kasterborous begin their 50th anniversary celebrations with monthly Introduction articles.
78. January’s was Frontier in Space.
79. And this month’s is Vengeance on Varos.

Frontier 3

80. Tying into this, my editor called a second Frontier in Space piece I wrote one of the best articles the site has ever published. A massive compliment. You can read The World Behind: Frontier in Space here.
81. I reviewed Lee Mack’s Going Out live tour for Guide2Bristol
82. … And Bristol247!
83. I’ve visited the National History Museum for the first time.
84. Colin Baker appeared on I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
85. My article, Room with a View?, was the most-viewed article on Kasterborous in 2012!
86. I’ve begun work on a number of non-fiction books – but researching is a long task!
87. I reminisced on the anniversary of Matt Smith’s debut as the Doctor, Karen Gillan as Amy and Arthur Darvill as Rory here.
88. And celebrated Matt’s Doctor here.

The 11th Doctor

89. I’ve started a short story collection.
90. My jewellery article, With This (Time) Ring…, was surprisingly popular, making the Kasterborous top 10 list of the most-viewed articles of 2012.
91. I looked at the top 10 guest stars in the Tenth Doctor era here and here.
92. I’ve started reading the Sherlock Holmes novels by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
93. T4 On The Beach (held in my hometown) has been cancelled.

David Tennant

94. I’m working on a particularly-exciting documentary idea – though it’s only in development in my head at the minute!
95. I’ve seen Peter Kay live at Manchester’s M.E.N. Arena.
96. Parts of Doctor Who: The Snowmen were filmed in Bristol, as were bits of Night Terrors.
97. I previewed tours by Micky Flanagan, Ed Byrne and Stewart Francis for my local newspaper, The Weston and Worle Mercury.

Micky Flanagan Mercury preview

Micky Flanagan Mercury preview

98. I’ve seen the asteroid, 2012 DA14!
99. I’ve added a new section to my blog: Testimonials.
100. I’ve written 100 posts!

But don’t go anywhere. This is just the start.

Thanks for sticking with me this long.


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Doctor Who: Series 7, Part 1 Quiz Answers!

ADVENT DAY TWENTY-THREE: Christmas. It’s not long away. And to celebrate advent, new content will be added to this blog every day in the countdown to the big day. You’ll see reviews, opinion pieces, links to some of my other work, videos – maybe even a short story! Remember to check back every day (in between the mad rush of packing presents, getting the freezer stocked up and watching Home Alone on repeat).

So how did you do on the Doctor Who Series 7, Part 1 quiz I posted a few days ago here? Let’s find out, shall we…?

Dinosaurs 1

1. In Asylum of the Daleks, which planet was the Doctor lured to by Darla Von Karlsen?


2. In what year is Dinosaurs on a Spaceship mainly set?

2367 AD.

3. In A Town Called Mercy, who says, “Violence doesn’t end violence; it extends it”?

The Doctor.

4. How long are the cubes in The Power of Three initially active for?

47 minutes.

5. According to their gravestone in The Angels Take Manhattan, how old were Rory and Amy when they died?

Rory: 82; Amy: 87.

6. What name does Oswin give the Daleks waiting outside her cell in Asylum?

Intensive Care.

7. The beach that’s actually the engine room in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship is most notable for being Bad Wolf Bay in Doomsday. But what planet did it also feature as, and in which serial…?

Alfafa Metraxi in The Time of Angels/ Flesh and Stone.

8. In A Town Called Mercy, what was the Gunslinger’s real name?


9. The Shakri, in The Power of Three, serve the word of… what?

The Tally.

10. In The Angels Take Manhattan, what is the title of the last chapter (just before Amy’s Afterword)?

Amelia’s Last Farewell.

Series 7

What was the last scene filmed by Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill together?

At the end of The Power of Three, when the Doctor, Amy and Rory walk into the TARDIS…

So how did you do? Leave a comment – and get ready for The Snowmen!

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Posted by on December 23, 2012 in Blog Advent - 2012, Television


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BBC Christmas: It’s Showtime!

ADVENT DAY TWO: Christmas. It’s not long away. And to celebrate advent, new content will be added to this blog every day in the countdown to the big day. You’ll see reviews, opinion pieces, links to some of my other work, videos – maybe even a short story! Remember to check back every day (in between the mad rush of packing presents, getting the freezer stocked up and watching Home Alone on repeat).

The BBC has released their trailer for their upcoming Christmas showcase, featuring a whole host of stars, some extremely popular programmes – and a surprise kiss!

Most notably, there’s Doctor Who, of course. The Snowmen (a title revealed on this year’s Children in Need) will introduce the Doctor to a new (ish) face: Jenna-Louise Coleman as Clara. She appeared in Asylum of the Daleks as Oswin Oswald, but what links these two characters (after all, the latter is now a dead Dalek!)? We won’t find out until the series returns next year… but Christmas is sure to be amazing.

Starring alongside the ever-brilliant Matt Smith and Jenna is Richard E. Grant (who you can see with the dreaded Snowmen), and Tom Ward, best-known for playing Dr. Harry Cunningham in Silent Witness.

The Snowmen

Call The Midwife will also be back at Christmas, starring Jessica Raine and Miranda Hart (the latter of whom will have two Christmas shows of her own hit comedy played this year). It’s not a surprise; the show has been the hit programme of the year, with the series finale attracting a huuuuge 11.41 million viewers! Call The Midwife’s second series will air next year too.

There’s also something for the kids with the half-hour animated Room on the Broom, based on the 2001 book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheiffler. Their past two shows, The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child, have been big hits of the last two Christmases, and with stars like Simon Pegg (Shaun of the Dead; Paul), Gillian Anderson (Great Expectations; The X-Files) and Martin Clunes (Doc Martin; Men Behaving Badly), Room on the Broom is sure to be another success.

Room on the Broom

Other shows coming up this Christmas on BBCOne include Mrs. Brown’s Boys, The Graham Norton Show (with Matt Smith!), and Restless, starring Hayley Atwell (Captain America: The First Avenger; Any Human Heart).

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Posted by on December 2, 2012 in Blog Advent - 2012, Television


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Doctor Who ReKapped!

ADVENT DAY ONE: Christmas. It’s not long away. And to celebrate advent, new content will be added to this blog every day in the countdown to the big day. You’ll see reviews, opinion pieces, links to some of my other work, videos – maybe even a short story! Remember to check back every day (in between the mad rush of packing presents, getting the freezer stocked up and watching Home Alone on repeat).

Earlier this year, I was involved with a new project for Kasterborous: running alongside the new series of Doctor Who, we recapped each episode in prep for the next one.

Pond Life

Of course, this meant a surprising amount of work: rewatching episodes and creating a scene-by-scene breakdown, noting down important dialogue and making sure the final piece doesn’t take 45 minutes to read!

Here are all the reKaps (with a K!) – and remember that you can buy Series 7: Part 1 on DVD and Blu-ray.

Asylum of the Daleks

The first episode was recapped by my fellow-contributor, Scott Varnham. The experiment obviously worked well, so as Scott was busy the following weeks, I happily volunteered for the next four episodes. (Fingers crossed I get to continue writing them at Christmas and beyond!)

Asylum of the Daleks ReKap

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship

I feel that there are a few important things to get across in each rekap. Firstly, it has to be enjoyable, which is quite a challenge when what you’re essentially doing is retelling a story in basic terms, with little speech. Secondly, it has to be understandable – quite a task considering that many don’t really ‘get’ the complex narratives of many-a-tale by Steven Moffat! And lastly, it has to reflect the tone of the story.

Dinosaurs on a Spaceship has a wavering tone (that’s not a criticism; I loved this episode), ranging from funny – cue Rory’s dad, Brian – to the serious (mostly due to Soloman). It wasn’t tough to show, really; the serious side seeped through, just noting down the grim sides of the tale, like the Silurians being ejected out of the air locks.

Dinosaurs ReKap

The funnier/sillier sides of the story are mainly shown through paraphrasing: you can’t put words into their mouths – but it’s not just a transcript throughout.

A Town Called Mercy

A Town Called Mercy ReKap

A surprising highlight of the series for me, focussing on a town cut off by the cyborg Gunslinger. It’s bookended by narration, and I used that as an introduction and conclusion to the piece. The rest of the tale was all about morals, laced with typical-Toby Whithouse dry wit. Again, this was achieved through paraphrasing; for example, when Kahler-Jex tells Amy that the Gunslinger probably won’t fire if someone else is with him, she replies, “Oh, well, colour me reassured.” This translated into:

“Jex pulls a gun on Amy, intending to use her as a hostage in order to escape: the Gunslinger’s programming won’t let him harm innocents unless absolutely necessary (and Amy is coloured reassured!).”

The Power of Three

Power of Three ReKap

Due to the very nature of the ‘slow invasion,’ the structure of The Power of Three is quite disjointed, flitting between the everyday lives of the Ponds and their travels in the TARDIS. But it also maintains a sort of linear narrative. Again, this had to be reflected in the rekap, which was pretty tough.

It was made even harder as many of the scenes in previous episodes could be cut; not that they were unimportant, but little details could be skipped or incorporated later on. But most of the scenes in The Power of Three were important for either character development (the main thrust of the episode) or the threat of the cubes.

It had also become apparent how popular and likeable Brian is, so I tried to incorporate some of his quirks more, like calling him Brian “Diligence” Williams.

The Angels Take Manhattan

By far the hardest rekap to write: a fantastic story, naturally – but one which confused many and had to be a satisfying goodbye for Amy and Rory… and a whole era of Doctor Who.

Angels Take Manhattan ReKap

Once more, the narrative zig-zags between time zones, and I had to reflect certain aspects of the story’s tone and especially sadness. The best way to tell the story of The Angels Take Manhattan is, it occurred to me, how River Song told the story: in a book.

Obviously, a whole book would’ve been over the word limit by just a little bit – so instead, I split the action into chapters, utilising the headings from River’s novel, The Angel’s Kiss: A Melody Malone Mystery. It was quite a task, considering those particular chapter titles don’t fit entirely with the on-screen happenings!

Still, it worked out quite nicely, with a few friends saying that it cleared up some confusion.

Matt Smith had previously said that the end tied into 2010’s The Eleventh Hour, and I can proudly say that I correctly predicted that it was Amelia waiting in the garden – then the noise of the TARDIS engines. In fact, that scene had been niggling at me for a while. I even wondered if it was metaphorical or maybe that Amy was dreaming when the TARDIS wakes her! Thanks to Mr. Moffat for clearing it up.


So then it was down to the business of Amy and Rory’s farewell. I found myself relying on the dialogue to get the emotion across, as, hopefully, the reader would start hearing their voices.

Of course, I then got to the afterword – and I just had to transcribe it.

It may have been difficult to do, but I’m really happy with the finished article.

Finally, there’s that last chapter, not in River’s book, but vital to relate back to: what started it all, and a favourite of not just me but so, so many others:

The Eleventh Hour.


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Doctor Who Reviews: The Dalek Project; Fourth Doctor Scarf

Any followers of my blog will know that I’ve been a busy bee doing some PR for Lovarzi’s Doctor Who scarf. (And if you didn’t know that, you can do your research here.)

I happily received a scarf as part of my fee, and proudly displayed it where no one could see it, so it’ll avoid getting damaged. Naturally. Hey, I’m a fan, first and foremost – and a worrying, pernickety one at that.

But I still put it on, because I’m only human. Plus it gave me chance to do a review for the Doctor Who website I write for.

You can read the review here. And here’s a brief snippet. Ooh, I’m a tease.

“The colours are wonderfully bright, and as it’s 100% Acrylic, the scarf’s resistant to fading caused by sunlight (a massive relief for dedicated fans), as well as some oils, chemicals and, somehow, even moths!”

A big perk of working for Kasterborous is I get some special privileges that others might not. I’ll elucidate on this at another time, but I recently received a review copy of the new Doctor Who graphic novel, The Dalek Project.

You can read my review here, and, again, here’s a sneaky preview:

“There are quite a few new Dalek designs, all impressive, with very effective reveals. Two spoilerific models are particularly cool, channelling the ‘steampunk’ feel. There are some brilliant visuals, especially when a few Daleks emerge from the ground, and there’s a scene that’ll take readers back to that surreal cliffhanger in The Dalek Invasion of Earth.”

Finally, if you hover over my ‘portfolio’ tab, then click on ‘Introducing: Doctor Who,’ you’ll find a newly designed page, which I’ve been mulling over for a while now. Let me know what you think in the comments section of this post.

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Posted by on November 29, 2012 in PR, Published work


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Doctor Who @ 50: Season 3

As many of you will know, Kasterborous is presenting a series of reviews in preparation for Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary, running through the entire ‘Classic Who’ series from 1963’s An Unearthly Child to 1989’s Survival. And as a regular contributor, I’m proud to say I’m on the list of reviewers!

At the time of writing, we’re nearing the end of Season 3, the last full series to feature William Hartnell’s First Doctor before his regeneration in The Tenth Planet.

Two of my reviews have gone up: Mission to the Unknown and The Gunfighters.

Mission to the Unknown stands out as the only one-part story of the classic series – but most notably as the only story to not feature the Doctor, the TARDIS or his companions! Although it does feature some very familiar foes from the planet Skaro.

Sadly, the episode is lost, so all we have are some photos and the soundtrack. It’s the first time I’ve ever reviewed something like that, but I found it a really enjoyable experience (and one I’ll do again). It also highlighted, once again, how sad it is that so many serials are missing – possibly wiped from the archives forever.

Knowing that I wouldn’t get a chance of talking about Hartnell again in the DW@50 series, I asked my editor, Christian, if I could also review a story with the Doctor featured quite heavily. And he obliged…

The Gunfighters is also important (and largely underrated), but I’ll leave it to my review to explain why. It’s not historically accurate, but it’s a very fun tale, and one which I’m sure a lot will revisit after the brilliant A Town Called Mercy (hasn’t this latest series been incredible?!).

This one is complete and available on DVD, which made it much easier to judge the direction and sets than on Mission to the Unknown.

Reviewing the classics is a massively enjoyable experience (one which I’d tried out before on the DVD of Day of the Daleks), and I hope to be part of the whole project. In fact, I already know which story I’ll be reviewing for the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton); it’s one I haven’t fully seen/heard before, but it’s always fascinated me. Stay tuned!

Check out the ongoing DW@50 mission here, and my author’s page here.

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Posted by on September 30, 2012 in Published work, Television


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Doctor Who @ 50

Kasterborous has launched Doctor Who@50, a series of reviews leading up to the big fiftieth anniversary of BBCOne’s flagship programme in November 2013. And I’m proud to say that I’m involved in this extensive project.

Multi-coloured Daleks in 1965’s ‘Dr. Who and the Daleks.’

Christian Cawley, Kasterborous’ editor, has planned the reviews to be published about twice (or thrice)-a-week, running from An Unearthly Child/ 100,000BC to 1989’s Survival, which saw the show bow out with the brilliant Sylvester McCoy and the ‘Ace’ Sophie Aldred at the helm of the TARDIS. K contributors from all of time and space will be reviewing serials of the ‘classic’ series; Christian explains:

“These new reviews will offer a new look at the classic episodes, unspoiled by the reputations that many had earned since the 1980s… By collecting together a range of interesting voices, however, we hope to present a unique look at the history of Doctor Who as a celebration of this wonderful, crazy, mad, mad show.”

You can check out the introduction here, and the first review here. The Daleks review can be read here, and The Edge of Destruction here – but look out for more every single week. I can’t reveal which stories I’ll be tackling, but I’m very excited to be involved in such a memorable project about the best show on television.

And to get you warmed up…

I wish autumn would hurry up.

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Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Television


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